It’s week 19 of Cassie’s Challenges and this week’s focus is to practice mindful eating! It’s time to eat with intention and attention!
Well I’m always up for a challenge, and last week certainly was! In my wisdom, I set the morning routine challenge for the one week where I had very little control over my mornings! We were well out of our routine, with a quick trip to Melbourne and moving to a new house! BUT I stuck to dedicating a few minutes every morning to mapping out my day and I also made sure to have a delicious breakfast every day, because without that, I cannot function!
I really enjoyed having a clear plan for the day and I’m going to try to keep this planning time in the mornings from here on in. What can I say? I love having a set list of things I want to achieve from the day, and ticking them off as I go! Who else took on the morning routine challenge from last week? I’m keen to hear what you added in and how you found the week because of it! So, make sure you drop me a comment below if you did!
Now for this week’s challenge…
Week 19 – Practice mindful eating
By now you may have figured out that I don’t subscribe to a particular diet and that my mantra is all about balance. In the past I tried almost every diet in the book – paleo, vegan, 5:2, low carb, high fat… the list goes on. But I have found the most success in focusing on eating a well-rounded diet. The kind of diet where there is room for everything in moderation, including moderation! But if there is one thing I want to try to be better at it is mindful eating!
There is a growing body of research that suggests that changing our thoughts and practices around meals and mealtime rituals may even be as important as what we are putting into our mouths! For example, one study that tracked mindful eaters showed them to have lower body weights, a greater sense of well-being and fewer symptoms of eating disorders. Given this, I feel compelled to give mindful eating a red hot go!
Eating mindfully is all about eating with intention and attention. It is eating with the intention of caring for yourself. And it is eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and how it effects your body.
We all know it can take up to 20 minutes for our bodies to realise we’re full. When we eat too fast, the signal to tell us we’re full may not arrive until well after we’ve eaten too much. Being creatures of habit, we also tend to eat at set times whether we are hungry or not. Mindful eating encourages you to tune into your body and how it is feeling. Are you actually hungry or is there another reason at play? Mindful eating helps you distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. It also increases your awareness of what your food-related triggers are, and gives you greater control over how you choose to respond to these triggers.
Mindful eating isn’t an all or nothing. You can still eat on the run, or in front of the computer from time to time. It is simply encouraging you to take more time to appreciate, respect and enjoy the food you eat. For this week, try to pick just one meal time a day to practice the following habits.
How to practice eating mindfully
1. Eat slower
This is one part of mindful eating that I’m not so good at! I hoe into a plate of food like a starving pig. It’s not glamorous, and it isn’t conducive to taking note of my body’s natural cues for when it is full! Eating slower doesn’t mean you must chew every bite of food 20 times! But it does mean being aware of the speed at which you are eating, and taking the time to savour and enjoy your food!
2. Remove Distractions
I’m guilty of eating in front of the TV or with my phone in hand for almost every meal! Make meal times an electronics-free zone! The less distractions the better!
3. Listen to physical hunger cues
Only eat when you are hungry. We often mistake hunger for thirst. Start with a glass of water and go from there. You can also ask yourself the following – Why are you eating? Are you actually hungry? Is it healthy?
4. Eat in silence
Families may find this difficult, as meal times are generally a time to catch up from the day. You can, however, designate one meal or snack time a day to be eaten in silence.
5. Stop eating when you’re full
Most of us would have grown up with a notion of having to finish our plates. Sure, food wastage is not desirable, but it is unnecessary to force yourself to eat for the sake of eating. Leftovers can go into a container for later. Stop eating when your body is telling you that you are full.
Have you tried mindful eating before?
What are your top tips?
As always, I’ll be tracking my progress for this week’s challenge on Instagram if you want to follow along. I also love seeing what you guys a cooking up! Don’t forget to tag me in your pictures under the hashtag #beforeverhealthier.
Also, if you’d like to see some of the previous challenges, I’ve listed them below for quick reference! Don’t forget that you can participate in a challenge at any time! So, if you’ve missed any previous challenges, feel free to jump on board whenever you get the chance!
ARE MY CHALLENGER’S READY?
GOOD LUCK AND EAT MINDFULLY!